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  Tuesday, October 21st   

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Sault to Host Major Business Matchmaking Conference

Marc Capancioni for local2 sault ste. marie
October 11th, 2012 at 5:44pm | Last Updated at 5:45pm



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Area companies will have an opportunity to align themselves with counterparts from around the world next fall at a major business matchmaking event. In November 2013, Sault Ste. Marie will be hosting RDEE Ontario’s 3rd Naturallia International Forum. The upcoming event and host community were announced today at the 2012 forum in Winnipeg.



Additional information on next year’s event, including registration details, will be released in the comings months. The 2013 forum, which will focus on the renewable energy, mining and value-added wood products sectors, is being coordinated by the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) and the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC).



“Building strategic partnerships is essential for strong economic growth and competing in the global economy,” said Tom Dodds, CEO of the SSMEDC. “This forum will increase national and international exposure for small and medium-sized businesses in Northern Ontario, thereby encouraging long-term economic growth in the region.”



These comments were echoed by Tom Vair, Executive Director of the SSMIC. "We look forward to hosting this significant event, which promises to link businesses and create growth opportunities," he said. "It also represents a great opportunity for Northern Ontario to showcase the dynamic businesses and projects in this region."



RDEE Ontario, an economic development agency, decided to hold its 2013 Naturallia International Forum in Sault Ste. Marie for a number of reasons. For starters, the SSMEDC and SSMIC have a solid partnership with RDEE. Also, the community has positioned itself as the Alternative Energy Capital of North America and has a strong presence in the mining and value-added wood products industries. Finally, the Sault is located at the centre of Northern Ontario, on the U.S. border and has multi-modal access to international markets.



The Naturallia International Forum is expected to include about 150 participating businesses, ranging from Northern Ontario and the rest of the province, eastern and western Canada, and around the world. The event is designed to promote business partnerships, with the format structured to allow one on-one meetings between participants. As well, an Experts Village will be set up to provide businesses information on topics like exporting, innovation and logistics.



Also at the forum, an International Village will gather delegation and government representative from each participating country. Finally, on-site visits will be organized, designed to create opportunities to showcase local expertise and knowhow in the related sectors. The overall goal is to make it easier for regional companies, as well as the national and international ones, to conduct business between each other, which will create wealth in the communities involved.



While specific details on the 2013 forum in Sault Ste. Marie aren’t yet available, prospective participants are welcomed to contact Randy Tallon, Director of International Relations for the SSMEDC, at 705-759-5928 or r.tallon@ssmedc.ca.



Meanwhile, the event is being made possible thanks to support from FedNor. “Our agency understands that the road to prosperity requires partnerships, strategic alliances, commitment and hard work,” said Carmen DeMarco, Manager of Program Delivery for FedNor. “Bringing Northern Ontario’s natural resource industries to the forefront of the international market is essential and beneficial for building strong, competitive and prosperous northern communities.”



The Naturallia International Forum is based on the Centrallia model, an internationally-recognized business-to-business matchmaking system that has brought thousands of companies together since its founding in 1990. At the core of the concept are a series of prearranged one-on-one meetings that allow firms to quickly connect and find ground for common opportunity. For more information, please visit www.centrallia.com.

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